17 Jun 2017

Tonga loses to Wales at Eden Park

8:24 am on 17 June 2017

Tonga struggled for cohesion as Wales ground out a 24-6 victory over the 'Ikale Tahi at Eden Park last night.

16 : 10

Tonga's Valentino Mapapalangi collides with Wales flyhalf Sam Davies.

Tonga's Valentino Mapapalangi collides with Wales flyhalf Sam Davies. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Tongan defence withstood some early pressure on their goal-line but struggled to get their hands on the ball, and to keep it when they did.

Alex Cuthbert produced a rare highlight in the first half, with a solo chip and chase try down the right touchline, as the Red Dragons went into the break leading 8-3.

Halfback Sonatane Takulua did his best to spark Tonga, with a couple of bursts in centre-field,

and kept them in touch on the scoreboard with two penalty goals.

But Sam Davies also proved prolific for the Welsh with four penalty goals, while a penalty try on full-time adding some padding to the winning margin.

Tonga coach Toutai Kefu

Tonga coach Toutai Kefu Photo: RNZI / Vinnie Wylie

Tongan coach Toutai Kefu said with only a few training sessions under their belts it was always going to be difficult.

"We need to get better, do things better, make better decisions but I thought the effort was there. The turnover rate was more than double theirs so we made a lot of mistakes. We made some mistakes in terms of execution, decision making - and some of those at crucial times."